Trigger warning: Discussion of child sexual abuse.
Jonny Pelham has become one of the most disarmingly hilarious comics in the UK by building his punchlines on a bedrock of unflinching honesty. There’s a big difference between the comedy cliche of “saying the unsayable”, and being able to find the humanity and authenticity in a subject that people don’t want to talk about.
We talk about his new Edinburgh Fringe show “Optimism Over Despair”, and he leads us through the experience at that show’s core: his reflections over using his set on Live At The Apollo to discuss the sexual abuse he experienced as a child. We also learn about his clinical “maladaptive daydreaming”, and what it’s like to always come with a trigger warning.
20mins of *double trigger-warning* extras available exclusively to the Insiders Club include Jonny on a joke that he’s always found too dark to make work, but which says something very important about his experiences; how he makes the personal political; and how to make biographical work what you want it to be in the face of algorithmic soup!
Go to www.comedianscomedian.com/insiders for ad-free episodes, extra content from every show that has it, and much more - including exclusive Insiders Q&As plus the incredible “self-help for comedians” special with Amanda Donnet.
Catch up with Jonny:
Everything Stu's up to:
Stu’s new Edfringe show “Spoilers” (WINNER Best Show 2023, Leicester Comedy Festival, woo!) is ON SALE NOW at
And find preview dates as well as podcast community links, social media handles and comedy clips, and Stu’s official YouTube channel, all at linktr.ee/stuartgoldsmith
Or join the mailing list for unspecified freebies at:
Stu offers remote and in-person talks to business, distilling insights from over 400 comics on cultivating resilience and the ability to bounce back, to all levels from C-suite to team members.
“There’s perfect and there’s perfect; and that was perfect.” David Cooper, Chief People Officer Circle Health Group